Mechanical Engineering Technician
Kaihangarau Take Pūkaha
Mechanical engineering technicians assist with the design, building and maintenance of machines, such as air-conditioning systems, heating and ventilation units and power plants. They also develop manufacturing quality control systems by studying and improving the mechanical processes and machinery on production lines.
Graduate mechanical engineer technicians usually earn
$40K-$45K per year
Mechanical engineering technicians with over four years' experience usually earn
$60K-$80K per year
Pay for mechanical engineering technicians depends on where they work, and how much experience they have. According to industry sources:
- Graduate mechanical engineering technicians can earn between $40,000 and $45,000 a year.
- Mechanical engineering technicians with four to six years' experience can expect to earn between $60,000 and $80,000.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Mechanical engineering technicians may do some or all of the following:
- oversee the assembly of machinery
- make recommendations on how to improve machinery
- calculate costs and the amount of equipment required to build machines
- give advice on installing equipment and machinery
- test and repair equipment and machines
- monitor equipment and machines to improve mechanical processes
- prepare drawings and develop machines according to requirements
- prepare contracts and contact suppliers
- plan and give advice on equipment and machinery maintenance work
- supervise and work with staff at power and manufacturing plants.
Skills and knowledge
Mechanical engineering technicians need to have:
- understanding of different machines and how they work
- knowledge of how to design, build and maintain machinery
- knowledge of welding processes
- knowledge of metals and their properties
- knowledge of maths and physics.
Mechanical engineering technicians also need to keep up to date with changes in technology, equipment and manufacturing methods.
Mechanical engineering technicians:
- usually work a regular 40-hour week, but some may do shift work.
- usually work in workshops, factories, power plants, offices and on building sites.
- may work in noisy and dirty conditions, and may have machinery that can be dangerous and needs to be handled with care.
- may travel between local sites or overseas on contract.
To become a mechanical engineering technician you need to complete a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE) (Mechanical). This qualification takes two years of full-time study to complete.
Once on the job, mechanical engineering technicians can work towards completing the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering Practice (NZDEP), which leads to certification as an engineering technician with Engineering New Zealand
To gain entry into the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical), it is recommended that you have a minimum of 48 NCEA credits at Level 2 in four subjects, including at least 12 credits in maths. Physics is also highly recommended, and technology subjects may be useful.
Mechanical engineering technicians need to be:
- practical and accurate, with an eye for detail
- able to make decisions quickly and work well under pressure
- good at problem-solving
- patient and confident
- motivated and disciplined
- able to work well independently and as part of a team.
- good with computers
- good at technical drawing
- well organised, with good communication and time management skills.
Useful experience for mechanical engineering technicians includes:
- work in an engineering workshop
- any work using hand tools or operating machinery
- welding and sheet metal work.
Some work situations may require mechanical engineering technicians to be agile and to work at heights.
Mechanical engineering technicians can register as chartered members with Engineering New Zealand.
Find out more about training
- Engineering New Zealand
- (04) 473 9444 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.engineeringnz.org
- Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA)
- (09) 262 2885 - email@example.com - www.hera.org.nz
- Institute of Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning Engineers (IRHACE)
- (09) 262 1405 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.irhace.org.nz/
What are the chances of getting a job?
Opportunities are especially good for mechanical engineering technician's with experience.
According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of people in the role remained relatively flat between 2010 and 2012. However, demand for their services has been rising.
Mechanical engineering technician and mechanical engineering draughtsperson appear on Immigration New Zealand's regional skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled mechanical engineering technicians from overseas to work in New Zealand.
Demand stronger in the South Island and for experienced mechanical engineering technicians
South Island employers of mechanical engineering technicians are also reported to have more trouble filling vacancies than those in the North Island.
Mechanical engineering technicians work for a range of employers, including:
- industrial machinery and equipment manufacturers
- domestic appliance manufacturers
- automotive, rail and aircraft engineering companies
- the Defence Force
- power generation companies.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2014.
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Regional Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Experienced mechanical engineering technicians can move into supervisory roles.
They may specialise in a number of different areas that involve mechanical processes and technology. These include:
- heating and ventilation
- manufacturing (including dairy, meat and textiles)
- heavy manufacturing
- power generation and roading.
Last updated 6 December 2019